Illegal roads abound in reserved forest areas | Deccan Chronicle
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Illegal roads abound in reserved forest areas

DC | C.S. Kotteswaran | 16th May 2013

Chennai: While foresters ha­ve  looked the other way, roads have been built without authorisation and in  violation of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, in the  Sathyamangalam Tiger Reserve.

Photographs available with Deccan Chronicle reveal that the vegetation has been cleared to pave the way for the roads dividing the core forest area in the tiger habitat. Over 20 km of the pristine sanctuary has been cleared of vegetation to lay the interior roads in three stretches. They include the Malliammandurgam road (Kadambur West beat, T.N Palayam Range), Belathur forest road (Belathur beat, Thalavadi Range) and Gundri Road (Gundri beat, T.N Palayam Range). 

No permission was sought  from the National Board for Wildlife or the Union forest ministry for laying these roads although the Sathyamangalam forest in Erode was declared a tiger reserve three months ago and is the fourth such reserve in Tamil Nadu today, regret green activists.

K. Mohan Raj of  the Tamil Nadu Green Movement says work on building the roads has been going on unchecked for the past several weeks and  local residents are building the Mallia­mmanduram road in the sanctuary misusing the district collector’s order allowing them to transport material on donkey back to build a school.

“A new red soil road has been created inside the forest in violation of the order  and you  can spot earthmovers in action, widening it. Development of these roads will only help nearby resorts and the residential plots on the forest fringes,” he deplores. 

“The fragmentation of forests caused by these roads will have a negative impact on wildlife ecology and regional biodiversity. Forest roads reduce wildlife habitat quality  and provide easy access to poachers,” admits a senior forest ranger, while the department continues to turn a blind eye to the problem.

States: 

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nature lover's picture
by nature lover (not verified) on
Evidently there was an existing road. The green activists are liars. The media has been taken for a ride

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